Improving the Quality of Teaching

Improving the Quality of Teaching

Improvingthe Quality of Teaching

Mohamed Al Sabea

Lecturer: Dr. Patricia Fidalgo

Section: 403

Teachers and Schools

October 2015

Teaching is a systematic process that involves the instructorengaging students in a series of pedagogical patterns to achievevarious objectives. An effective teacher employs a wide range ofteaching models and techniques to shape the right environment beforeintroducing his learners to another piece of knowledge. The lessonsbecome more productive when the learners become receptive rather thanwhen they learn to accomplish a duty. Teachers use the same basicapproach to teach that they learn from training institution(Curriculum and Standards, 2004). However, they can differentiate theapproaches by customizing them to achieve the set objectives. Thepractice used by teachers in many institutions is fairly standard,but there is a need for the teachers to introduce new learningmethods to improve the academic performances. The following criticalanalysis can help to improve the quality of teaching and help themdeliver their objectives effectively.

The lesson plan plays an imperative role in guiding the teacherthroughout the process. The plan contains the objectives of thelearning as well as the activities to include in the lessons. Using astructure can be more effective than having a blanket explanation ofwhat the teacher should introduce to the learners (Curriculum andstandards, 2004).Teachers can use the model of structured learning tocome up with the best approach to various topics. One topic isdivisible into several learning activities episodes and uses acustomized way that is consistent with the learners’ level ofknowledge to improve the learners’ reception. It is imperative forteachers to consider how the activities would help the studentsunderstand the concept of the topic.

Due to the time limit in the lesson plan, it may not be convenientfor the teacher to include a lot of activities. However, includingseveral of them would lead to a positive response and retention(Tomlinson, 2014). Episodes might ingrain in the learners mind forlong, and they can relate them to different topics. For example, thepedagogical approach of including objectives of every topic in thelesson plan should not be reserved for the teacher. It isprofessional for the teacher to test whether the learners haveachieved the skills reflected in the objectives. It would beproductive if the learners would get acquainted with the objectivesof the lesson (Tomlinson, 2014). However, as Tomlinson (2014) putsit, introducing objectives to learners in the low grade may not beappropriate since they have low levels of comprehension.

The cooperation that exists between the teacher and the studentdetermines the level of learning engagement. It takes time and effortfor instructors to develop a cordial relationship with theirstudents. Teacher-learner collaboration is, therefore, important.The cooperative teachers have the responsibility of knowing thestudents’ capabilities and gradually increase their learningresponsibilities. The learning and teaching process, therefore,becomes a joint activity with the two parties as partners. Studentsare likely to develop a feeling of commitment towards fulfilling theduties outlined by the teacher (Curriculum and standards, 2004). Thewillingness to learn eases the work of the teacher since he/she doesnot have to be physically present to initiate the learning mood inlearners.

Cooperation provides a fertile ground for differentiated learning andinstruction. According to the theory of cooperation, learners hailfrom different economic and cultural backgrounds. They also havevaried learning capabilities (Britzman, 2012).Understandingindividual capabilities can be helpful in knowing what work best fordifferent students. Considering the varied needs and interests,teachers develop personalized measures within a classroom foreffective learning without the learners’ differences being abarrier. A differentiated classroom has been instrumental inresponding to students diverse needs and learning profiles(Tomlinson, 2014). However, in schools with many learners, teachersmay not have sufficient time for all the students to assist them atthe personal level.

Differentiation of activities can also serve to improve teaching.Pedagogy involves both direct and indirect methods of engagement.Learners, especially in the higher grades, take several subjects witha set of topics to be covered at any given term. Students may getused to a monolithic set of activities or environment that does notinstigate a feeling of sense or desire to learn. The strategy ofapplying a set of materials spurs interest among learners (Britzman,2012).

Differentiation may involve the identification of specific resourcematerials that relate to a given topic. The teacher can make anarrangement with the school to source for these materials in casethey are not available in the school (Tomlinson, 2014).The teachercan also identify a specialist in an area of study and allow studentsto interact with him/her and get an experience of the actualprofession. When introducing a new topic, the teacher can alsoidentify an external environment that relates to the topic and takethe students there to learn through a structured guidance. Thepicture that registers in the mind is easier to remember for thelearners rather than the content they learn in class (Tomlinson,2014).

Teachers can also learn from each other since they have differentapproaches to teaching, and some of the teaching strategies are moreproductive than others. The procedures used in a classroom by oneteacher may have similar results if transferred to another class(Harris &amp Sass, 2011). However, these procedures may not beavailable in the teaching materials, and teachers can only learnabout them from their colleagues. Teachers can also compareperformances emanating from the use of various procedures. Afteridentifying the best teaching methods based on the outcomes exhibitedby students, the teachers can adopt them and apply them in theirteaching. To achieve this, the educational leadership must havecreated a conducive environment of professionalism, mutual respect,and responsibility. The reason for this is that, these workplaceattributes encourage people to share information since they worktowards the same objectives. The aim of putting heads together shouldnot be to undermine the efforts of one while praising those ofanother but to act in the best interest of improving theirinstructional methods.

In learning from each other, it would be advisable for teachers tonarrow the learning to departmental level. The rationale for this isthat instructional methods deemed effective in one department may notbear the same results in another department due to the variation ofcontent and engagement (Harris &amp Sass, 2011). Teachers in thesame department can share ideas amongst themselves on the proceduresthat they believe can work best for their lessons. For example, amathematics department may not use the same methods used by theliterature department. The denominator for this is to improve thedelivery of individual teachers.

In conclusion, the proposed methods can contribute to the overallimprovement of teaching quality in an institution. The level ofstudent’s performance is the result of their willingness to learnand understanding of the concepts. These emanate from effectiveteaching methods that are objective in creating the best environmentto learn. Having regular departmental meetings can be instrumentalin reviewing the existing practices and make relevant changes on theteaching activities that do not give desirable outcomes.

References

Britzman, D. P.(2012). Practice makes practice: A critical study of learning toteach. Suny Press.

Curriculum andstandards (2004).Pedagogy and Practice: Teaching and LearninginSecondary Schools. The Guidance. Retrieved fromhttp://learning.gov.wales/docs/learningwales/publications/130423-pedagogy-and-practice-teaching-and-learning-in-secondary-schools-en.pdf

Harris, D. N., &ampSass, T. R. (2011). Teacher training, teacher quality and studentachievement. Journal of public economics, 95(7),798-812.

Tomlinson, C. A.(2014). Differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of alllearners. Ascd.